A great number of my students are not voting! When asked why, they respond, "It's all rigged anyway," or "My vote doesn't count." Of course there are many other responses like, "I don't have time. I am too busy." All these excuses worry me.
I believe we live in the greatest country, yet many take our freedom for granted. They complain about nothing being done or our leaders don't represent us, yet they say and do nothing. Ask them if they have written their representative, and they'll respond, "What for?" I don't know why we have such distaste for our government. Have these individuals lived in other places that are better? Maybe a trip abroad would solve some of the apathy and disgust they show in the states.
Yesterday, I asked my students to find at least five reasons why people should vote. I wanted them to understand how and why our vote makes a difference. I think every student should have to take Political Science in order to know the type of government we have, how it works and why it works. We are not a perfect country. But, we can complain, voice our grievances, march on Washington, and speak to a multitude of people at any gathering.
Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech may not have been possible in another country. I understand that we don't have the type of equality we deserve, but it's up to us to bring about change. Women can demand change in salary, health care, and working conditions; blacks can demand change in a police system that may be biased or prejudice, and workers can demand higher wages and better benefits. But, if no one speaks up, if no one votes, then we have no one to blame but ourselves if nothing changes. Voting gives each and everyone of us a voice by choosing the best candidate who will represent our needs.